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Super easy chicken noodle soup

2014 October 21
by Emily Hill

This is a super easy chicken noodle soup recipe but let me clarify.

By “super easy” I mean “not as easy as opening a can of Campbell’s chicken noodle soup but easier than using a recipe that requires from-scratch chicken stock and the cooking and shredding of chicken breasts.”


Easy chicken noodle soup yet so full of flavor. Rotisserie chicken gives it a delicious roast chicken flavor.


Basically this super easy chicken noodle soup recipes is one of the easiest homemade chicken noodle soup recipes you can make and it’s full of yummy roast chicken flavor, chunks of tender carrots and celery and al dente pasta noodles (whole wheat if you love whole wheat pasta as much as I do). Feel free to tweak the amount of garlic and thyme according to taste. I think next time I make it, I will throw in a bit more salt and pepper.


Easy chicken noodle soup yet so full of flavor. Rotisserie chicken gives it a delicious roast chicken flavor.


I find this soup—and pretty much all soups—taste even better when served with a side of rolls like this closely guarded dinner roll recipe.

You’re gonna have to trust me on this one.

5.0 from 1 reviews
Super Easy Chicken Noodle Soup
Author: 
Recipe type: Main dish
Cuisine: Soup
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8
 
A hearty homemade chicken noodle soup recipe that is both easy and packed with flavor.
Ingredients
  • 2 T olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced (about 1½ tsp)
  • 2 medium carrots, cut diagonally in ½-inch-thick slices
  • 2 celery ribs, halved lengthwise, cut in ½-inch-thick slices
  • 2 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 quarts chicken stock (or broth)
  • 1 (13-oz) package whole wheat rotini
  • 1½ cups shredded rotisserie chicken
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Fresh flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
Instructions
  1. Place a soup pot over medium heat and add oil. Add onion, garlic, carrots, celery, thyme and bay leaf. Cook and stir for about 6 minutes until vegetables are tender but before onion brownes.
  2. Slowly pour in chicken stock and bring to a boil. Add the noodles and simmer for 7 to 9 minutes or until al dente.
  3. Fold in chicken and continue to simmer for 2 to 3 minutes until heated through; season with salt and pepper. Remove bay leaf and sprinkle with chopped parsley before serving.

Here are some other delicious homemade soup recipes perfect for chillier weather.


Mom's chicken tortilla soup


Mom’s chicken tortilla soup

Zupas Wisconsin cauliflower soup


Cafe Zupas Wisconsin cauliflower soup

Homemade minestrone soup


Sniffle-friendly minestrone soup

Chicken taco soup


Slow cooker chicken taco soup

If you love homemade soup, check out my “soup recipes” Pinterest board. It’s full of all kinds of slurp-worthy soups.

Follow Emily Hill’s board soup recipes on Pinterest.

ps post script

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Don’t forget to sign up for free is this REALLY my life? updates via RSS or email so you don’t miss a single awesome post.

What to give (and what not to give) instead of Halloween candy

2014 October 16
by Emily Hill

Don’t get me wrong. I love all the mini Twix, bite-size Kit-Kat and full-size Snickers my kids bring home after trick-or-treating. But I can buy those any time of year. (Of course they’re half off the day after Halloween. And Christmas. And Valentine’s Day. And Easter.) What I really love are the creative alternatives to Halloween candy I see floating around the school parties and in my kids’ trick-or-treat bags.

And none of them require pipe cleaners, scrapbook paper and hot glue.


What to Give - and What NOT to Give - Instead of Halloween Candy


This year instead of Halloween candy, try passing out something a little different…a little less Laffy Taffy-ish. Here are some great ideas thanks to  a bit of brainstorming with the family.

Okay, it was just Madison and Nathan because Lauren and the others were already in bed but I think we did a pretty good job.

If you still want to give out food, try:

  • Homemade popcorn balls (these may get tossed for being suspicious but they’re so yummy)
  • Mini bags of Goldfish crackers or pretzels
  • Juice boxes
  • 100-calorie snack packs
  • Bottled water (to wash down all the candy)
  • Bags of microwave popcorn (see “according to moms…” section below)
  • Drink flavor packets
  • Coupons for free treats (e.g., Chick-fil-A sandwich, ice cream cone)


 If you’d rather give out toys, try:

  • Glow bracelets or glow sticks (thank you, Sari, for this idea!)
  • Bouncy balls
  • Mini coloring books
  • Spider rings
  • Tattoos (fake, not real)
  • Vampire teeth (also fake, not real)
  • Wax lips (just don’t leave them in the sun on the seat of a red tricycle)
  • Mini containers of play dough (although this is kind of a mean thing to do parents)
  • Bubbles (always a good option)
  • Cool bendy straws
  • Pinwheels (always a hit)
  • Small kaleidoscopes
  • Paddle balls


If you’d rather give out fun-yet-practical items, try:

  • Pencils (make sure they’re festive)
  • Bookmarks (make sure they’re cool)
  • Crayons
  • Sharpie markers (hahahahaha…totally kidding!)
  • Mini flashlight
  • Mini compass (so you can send the kids out on their own next year)
  • Holiday books
  • Sidewalk chalk
  • Stickers (this may be considered a toy but this list was shorter)


According to my kids, you should NOT give out:

  • Fruit
  • Organic fruit & nut bars
  • Mini boxes of raisins
  • Toothbrushes
  • Floss
  • Anything to do with dental health
  • Anything other than a king-size candy bar
  • Anything less than a $5 bill


According to moms, you should NOT give out:

  • Noisemakers like kazoos and whistles and yes, even wind-up toys (not enough Diet Coke in the world)
  • Silly Putty or slime (always ends up ground into the carpet)
  • Mini slinky (always end up twisted)
  • Yo-yos (they can never figure them out)
  • Parachute guys (they’re good for only one jump…if that)
  • Ink stamps (you will find them on more than paper)
  • Bags of microwave popcorn (it’s always movie theater butter and it always ends up smeared all over the couch)

 

If you’re looking for some ideas as to how to handle the candy haul your kids are sure to bring home, check out our nifty ticket system. My kids love it and it’s super easy to manage.

Good thing I get unlimited tickets.

For some other fun Halloween ideas, check out my Halloween boards on Pinterest. You’ll find them at the top of the page!

Visit Emily Hill’s profile on Pinterest.

ps post script

Feel free to “like” is this REALLY my life? on Facebook. It won’t always earn you an extra entry in a giveaway but it will give you warm fuzzies.

Don’t forget to sign up for free is this REALLY my life? updates via RSS or email so you don’t miss a single awesome post.

Soft & chewy pumpkin chocolate chip cookies

2014 October 14
by Emily Hill

I’m not going to say much about these soft and chewy pumpkin chocolate chip cookies but here’s what you should know:

  • They got rave reviews at October’s PTA meeting. And everyone had at least three including our super fit, super healthy PTA president. No lie.
  • The recipe calls for Pillsbury Moist Supreme Perfectly Pumpkin Premium Cake Mix (the same cake mix in this fabulous pumpkin bundt cake). The mix is available August through January, so stock up when you find it.
  • The secret is cream cheese. Crazy, right?


If you’re going to make them, you may want to double the batch so you have enough to “boo” the neighbors AND indulge in some late-night snacking.

Not that I ever eat cookies after 10:00 p.m. or anything.


Soft and chewy pumpkin chocolate chip cookies


Printable recipe for soft and chewy pumpkin chocolate chip cookies below.

Soft & Chewy Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies
Author: 
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: Cookies
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 12
 
When everyone at your monthly PTA meeting eats at least three cookies, you know the recipe is a good one. Just sayin'.
Ingredients
  • 1 (15.25-oz) package Pillsbury Perfectly Pumpkin cake mix
  • ½ cup salted butter, softened
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 (8-oz) package cream cheese, softened
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Beat butter, vanilla, egg and cream cheese until fluffy (about 2 to 3 minutes).
  3. Add cake mix and beat until combined.
  4. Fold in chocolate chips.
  5. Drop by rounded tablespoonfuls onto nonstick cookie sheet. Bake 12 to 14 minutes or until just set.
  6. Cool 2 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.
Notes
The Perfectly Pumpkin cake mix is available only August to January so stock up!

If you love all things pumpkin, check out my “fall is in the air” Pinterest board. It’s full of all kinds of fall goodies (baked and crafted).

Follow Emily Hill’s board fall is in the air on Pinterest.

ps post script

Feel free to “like” is this REALLY my life? on Facebook. It won’t always earn you an extra entry in a giveaway but it will give you warm fuzzies.

Don’t forget to sign up for free is this REALLY my life? updates via RSS or email so you don’t miss a single awesome post.

Super adorable (mostly no-sew) homemade Halloween costumes

2014 October 9
by Emily Hill

This post is totally for you, dear readers. You would be hard pressed to find me putting together homemade Halloween costumes even if it were of the “no sew” variety. Don’t get me wrong. I find them utterly and totally adorable, especially the owl costume (my favorite). I just don’t find myself utterly and totally homemade Halloween costume material. But many of you are, so here’s a collection of my favorite homemade costumes I’ve seen floating around the Interweb.


15 Homemade Halloween Costumes

Alfred Hitchcock's The Birds costume
I might make a grownup version of Alfred Hitchcock’s “The Birds” costume from Simple Simon and Company.

photobooth strip costume
I’m loving this photobooth strip costume from Oh Happy Day.

owl Halloween costume
This owl Halloween costume from Darling Darleen is probably my favorite.

lumberjack costume
George would look so handsome in this lumberjack costume from Make It & Love It.

DIY tooth fairy costume
And Livi would love this DIY tooth fairy costume from 235 Designs.

garden gnome Halloween costume
I need another baby just so I can dress him up like a garden gnome thanks to Adventure in a Box.

no sew olaf costume
How adorable is this no sew Olaf costume from Crazy Little Projects?

no sew pumpkin tutu
Every little girl needs a no sew pumpkin tutu from Craft Passion.

DIY LEGO Movie costume
We’re fans of The LEGO Movie so this DIY LEGO Movie costume from Here Comes the Sun is a hit!

easy tin man costume
This easy tin man costume from Simply Kierste is one of my favorite from this year.

Boxtroll Halloween costume
This boxtroll costume from Red Ted Art is probably the easiest out of the bunch but no less cute.

homemade jellyfish costume
Hard to believe this jellyfish costume from Giggles Galore takes only 10 minutes!

DIY pineapple no sew baby costume
This DIY pineapple no-sew baby costume from Lines Across is crazy cute (so my teenagers would say).

felt monarch butterfly wings
How easy and beautiful are these felt monarch butterfly wings from Buggy and Buddy?

candy corn homeamde Halloween costume
This super simple yet super “sweet” candy corn costume from Duke & Duchesses makes me super happy.

If you’re like me and aren’t interested in handcrafting Halloween costumes this season, check out these awesome superhero costumes (Wonder Woman included) and Disney princess costumes I found on eBay. They’re amazing and affordable!


ps post script

Feel free to “like” is this REALLY my life? on Facebook. It won’t always earn you an extra entry in a giveaway but it will give you warm fuzzies.

Don’t forget to sign up for free is this REALLY my life? updates via RSS or email so you don’t miss a single awesome post.

We’d live off chips, salsa and guacamole if we could

2014 October 7
by Emily Hill

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post for Kroger PeakFection. Thoughts, opinions, and delicious salsa are 100 percent honest and all mine.

Actually, we probably could. Salsa has tomatoes, which are good for you. And guacamole has avocados, which are also good for you. So that’s lots of veggies, which means lots of vitamins. The chips are usually made with corn, so that counts as a veggie too. I’m pretty sure I should now make chips with a side of salsa and guac a weekly meal (outside Taco Tuesday).

About half the time I try to make my fire-roasted salsa and homemade guacamole, and the other half we go with store bought. What can I say? I like convenience and fresh, store-bought salsa and guacamole can really hit the spot. One of my newest discoveries is the PeakFection line from Kroger (or Smith’s if you’re in the UT). I’m really glad they sent our family a sample of both their salsa and guac because it’s really, really yummy.


PeakFection from Kroger - fresh salsa and guacamole

We had a family party for my birthday and the salsa and guacamole was inhaled in record time.


PeakFection from Kroger - yummy fresh salsa and guacamole

Of course, no one got to touch it until I took the photos. Nathan snapped this behind-the-scenes shot and posted it on Instagram without my knowledge.


emihill on Instagram

Sometimes when you’re making a meal like enchiladas or tacos, the last thing you want to do—or the last thing you remember to do—is make the salsa and guacamole. For that reason, keeping a package of each on hand in the fridge can be a Taco Tuesday lifesaver. Plus PeakFection uses fresh ingredients captured at the “peak of perfection” and a special cold-water process so they stay fresher longer. I had those packages in the fridge for a good couple weeks before we used them and they tasted as fresh as if they were made hours before.

PeakFection offers five (yes, five!) salsas (red in three spice levels, roasted in two spice levels) and two flavors of guacamole (traditional and spicy). As great as they are with chips, you can also use them to add a fresh and flavorful touch to lots of dishes.

Try PeakFection guacamole:

  • Atop burgers or hot dogs
  • On your favorite chicken, tuna or egg salad recipe
  • As a healthy substitute for mayo on sandwiches


Use PeakFection salsa:

  • To spice up chicken leftovers
  • As an addition to your breakfast burritos
  • In place of ketchup


You know what else PeakFection salsa and guacamole would be good with? Mexican lasagna.


Mexican lasagna


Or Cafe Rio sweet pork tacos.


Cafe Rio Pork Tacos


Or maybe cilantro garlic chicken quesadillas.


Cilantro garlic chicken quesadillas


I bet PeakFection would be super yummy on these crock pot chicken tacos. Go, Taco Tuesday!


Crock pot chicken tacos

What is your favorite way to eat salsa and/or guacamole?


ps post script

Feel free to “like” is this REALLY my life? on Facebook. It won’t always earn you an extra entry in a giveaway but it will give you warm fuzzies.

Don’t forget to sign up for free is this REALLY my life? updates via RSS or email so you don’t miss a single awesome post.

It’s like a symphony . . . and yes, it’s glorious

2014 October 3
by Emily Hill

I don’t know if you’ve heard but there’s a new movie coming out. It’s called Meet the Mormons.

Six ordinary individuals. Six extraordinary stories.

Meet the Mormons gives audiences a glimpse into the lives of six Latter-day Saints who live all over the world, from the U.S. to Nepal. They share their cultures, their challenges, their triumphs and their faith. I’m intrigued…and not because I’m Mormon. In a world where all news seems to be bad news, extraordinary stories are a welcome respite.

Or maybe I just want to see the movie because I’m in love with David Archuleta’s new song, “Glorious.”


These words speak to the soul no matter the faith:

There are times when you might feel aimless
You can’t see the places where you belong
But you will find that there is a purpose
It’s been there within you all along and when you’re near it
You can almost hear it

It’s like a symphony just keep listenin’
And pretty soon you’ll start to figure out your part
Everyone plays a piece and there are melodies
In each one of us, oh, it’s glorious


“Glorious” echoes the sentiments I shared in my post about being brave and beautiful.


What God Intended for You quote


YOU are brave.

YOU are beautiful.

YOU have a purpose.

And yes, it is glorious.


ps post script

Feel free to “like” is this REALLY my life? on Facebook. It won’t always earn you an extra entry in a giveaway but it will give you warm fuzzies.

Don’t forget to sign up for free is this REALLY my life? updates via RSS or email so you don’t miss a single awesome post.

Snap Conference 2015 tickets on sale TODAY!

2014 October 1
by Emily Hill

YES! TODAY! Are you doing the happy dance? You should be. I look forward to Snap Conference EVERY. SINGLE. YEAR.


Snap Conference logo

Snap Conference 2015

Top notch classes, inspiring keynotes, amazing women and off-the-hook parties.


Snap Conference 2015

Do people still say “off the hook”?

If you’re ready to buy your Snap Conference ticket NOW, click here. (They go on sale at 9:00 a.m..)

Here’s the skinny on ticket sales:

  • Regular early bird tickets (on sale TODAY) for bloggers will be offered for the $350 and will be available through December 1, 2014 or until tickets sale out.
  • Snap will once again be offering the awesome “First 50″ discount. This $100 discount is available to the first 50 individuals who buy blogger tickets using the code FIRST50.
  • Some bloggers may have a direct conflict with one or more Snap sponsors. This year there is an unsubsidized ticket for active bloggers who DO NOT want their ticket to be subsidized by the Snap 2015 sponsors. The cost of this ticket will be the actual per-person event cost of $695.
  • Tickets for individuals representing companies with more than five employees will be offered at $700.

Snap Conference often sells out in less than 48 hours. I highly recommend purchasing your ticket as soon as possible to ensure your spot.

For more information about Snap Conference, visit SnapConference.com. Details like schedule, speakers and sponsors will be updated as it gets closer to the conference.

SEE YOU THERE!


ps post script

Feel free to “like” is this REALLY my life? on Facebook. It won’t always earn you an extra entry in a giveaway but it will give you warm fuzzies.

Don’t forget to sign up for free is this REALLY my life? updates via RSS or email so you don’t miss a single awesome post.